INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana Senate panel is holding off on changing and voting on a bill allowing law enforcement agencies to withhold police video from the public.
A proposed change to the bill would require agencies to justify keeping video private because it might harm someone or influence a court trial. That would switch the burden of proof from the bill’s original language, which requires a person requesting the video to prove it would not cause harm.
Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Rodric Bray of Martinsville said the amendment isn’t ready yet.
“We’re dealing with things like what exactly the circumstances are when the video would have to be released and we’re also dealing with the maximum law enforcement agencies can charge to release the video,” he said. “I don’t expect from now to next week’s hearing to have any major changes at all.”
Supporters of the original proposal say it would protect the privacy of people featured in video. But media groups and public access advocates argue withholding video would hurt transparency within law enforcement agencies.
Bray said shifting the burden of proof to law enforcement has eased most of the concerns from opponents, but he still has to be sure law enforcement is comfortable with the change.
“If we don’t get that part right they’ll just never use these video cameras and I think it’s good policy to have those out there,” Bray said.
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